The Johns Hopkins University sure got lucky with one of its admission decisions for the class of 1964. That was the year Michael Bloomberg graduated from the institution—and his gifts to his alma mater have totaled more than $800-million to date.
Johns Hopkins tallied Mr. Bloomberg’s total giving in advance of an event Thursday to unveil a new children’s hospital center, to which the New York mayor contributed $120-million. Mr. Bloomberg’s first gift came in 1965; it was for $5.
He has given more to Johns Hopkins than to any other institution. Last year, Mr. Bloomberg, who made his fortune through a financial-data and media business, ranked fifth on The Chronicle’s list of generous donors.
Because many donors give anonymously, it’s impossible to say if Mr. Bloomberg’s giving makes him the biggest benefactor to a single university, but according to Chronicle figures, he would certainly be near the top.
The late John Kluge, a communications mogul, gave at least $400-million to his alma mater, Columbia University. The financier Sanford Weill and his wife, Joan, have given at least $400-million to Cornell University and to the Weill Cornell Medical College. Mr. Weill is a Cornell alumnus.
T. Boone Pickens, the oil man, has given more than $345-million to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, according to Chronicle tallies.
Mr. Bloomberg’s first naming-level gift to Hopkins, $1-million, came in 1984, in honor of his mother’s 75th birthday. Fundraisers are no doubt wondering what Mr. Bloomberg’s 50th reunion year, 2014, might bring.